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Cyber Security Awareness and Diligence Needs to be Year-Round Effort

TechSource Editor

October 13, 2015  |  Cyber Security

When it comes to securing your network, every organization should know most breaches and security incidents result from human error, so educating and training employees should be a top priority. As part of our “Shared Responsibility” series for National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), we invited Paul Christman, who oversees Dell Software’s federal organization, to discuss how to stay safe online. Christman lauds the National Cyber Security Alliance for bringing attention to cyber security. He shared a few statistics the Dell SecureWorks team uncovered that show this attention needs to be a year-round priority:

  • 70 percent of security breaches can be attributed to human error
  • 90 percent of malware required human interaction before infecting a network
  • 63 percent of people are using work computers for personal activities every single day
  • 80+ percent use work computers for personal activities at least some of the time

Despite these numbers, only half of all the employees Dell surveyed said they had received training on cyber security.

“Obviously, end user participation is critical to a successful cyber security effort, and Dell encourages our customers to build a human firewall alongside their IT efforts,” Christman said. “This human firewall consists of a group of educated users who join the fight to protect an organization’s network and data.

We cannot assume employees are going to have a clean, separate work computer,” he said. “And, we cannot rely on a single technology to protect networks and data. Organizations need to take a layered and context-aware approach to cyber security.”

He also shared a Dell SecureWorks checklist for the steps an organization should take to bolster its cyber security efforts on the IT and end user side and shared some good news about how quickly an organization can correct security flaws with the right solutions on the IT and the user side.  He cited some of the progress made in the recent Obama Administration Cyber Security Sprint.

“The General Services Administration is a great example. At the beginning of the sprint, they measured at 94 percent strength in authentication for both privileged and unprivileged users. After 30 days, they had increased to 99 percent,” Christman said. “On the flip side, the Department of Transportation was at 32 percent in terms of the strength of their authentication protocols, but they were able to get to 97 percent at the end of the cyber security sprint. That shows how quickly an organization that makes it a priority can strengthen their security efforts.”

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